Henry VIII is a historical drama about the life of the eponymous English king. It covers his turbulent early marriages, the rebellious ambitions of his noblemen, and the scheming designs of his advisor Cardinal Wolsey. The play chronicles the early periods of Henry's rule, concluding with the birth of Queen Elizabeth I. It deals with Henry as a primarily heroic figure, though it does criticize his marital practices and dependence on courtiers.
Henry VIII (c. 1613) was one of the last plays written by William Shakespeare and was based on the life of Henry VIII of England. An alternative title, All is True, is recorded in contemporary documents, the title Henry VIII not appearing until the play's publication in the First Folio of 1623. Stylistic evidence indicates that the play was written by Shakespeare in collaboration with, or revised by, John Fletcher.
Self-mettle tires him.
Than to be perk'd up in a glistering grief,
And wear a golden sorrow.
Bow themselves when he did sing.
And yet, words are no deeds.
What appetite you have.
I haste now to my setting: I shall fall
Like a bright exhalation in the evening,
And no man see me more.
The tender leaves of hope; to-morrow blossoms,
And bears his blushing honours thick upon him;
The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,
And,— when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
His greatness is a-ripening,— nips his root,
And then he falls, as I do. I have ventur'd,
Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,
This many summers in a sea of glory,
But far beyond my depth: my high-blown pride
At length broke under me; and now has left me,
Weary and old with service, to the mercy
Of a rude stream, that must forever hide me.
Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate ye!
I feel my heart new open'd. O, how wretched
Is that poor man that hangs on princes’ favours!
There is, betwixt that smile we would aspire to,
That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin,
More pangs and fears than wars or women have;
And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
Never to hope again.
A still and quiet conscience.
Found thee a way, out of his wreck, to rise in;
A sure and safe one, though thy master miss'd it.
Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace,
To silence envious tongues. Be just, and fear not:
Let all the ends thou aim’st at, be thy country’s,
Thy God’s, and truth’s; then if thou fall’st, O Cromwell,
Thou fall’st a blessed martyr!
Have left me naked to mine enemies.
Give him a little earth for charity!
Himself with princes.
Lofty and sour to them that lov'd him not;
But to those men that sought him, sweet as summer,
And though he were unsatisfied in getting,
(Which was a sin) yet in bestowing, madam,
He was most princely.
To keep mine honour from corruption,
But such an honest chronicler as Griffith.
To hear such flattery now; and in my presence,
They are too thin and bare to hide offences.
Shall be, and make new nations.